Ford F-150 Lightning in the wild
Sunday, November 13 2022
location: a first floor room, Biddle Street Inn, Baltimore, Maryland
I'd been mildly obsessing about the Rodney Atkins song entitled "Watching You," a phony-sounding morality tale set to cheeseball music and played frequently on Country Music stations. I'd mentioned this song some months ago for the questionable dietary lessons it seems to be imparting ("nuggets" that are considered food necessary enough that they must first be ingested by a child before he can receive a toy). On the drive down, I'd had Gretchen play the song from her phone, and this morning before she got up, I took a bath and read the Wikipedia entry for Rodney Atkins. You can imagine my excitement to learn that in 2010 he was arrested on the charge of attempting to smother his wife with a pillow while his young son "watched." You can't make this shit up! Atkins eventually evaded the charge, probably on the power of white privilege alone.
After packing up our hotel room, we left our car at the Biddle Street Inn and walked through sunny (though more seasonable) conditions to Dodah's Kitchen, an all-vegan soul food restaurant in the neighborhood. Soul food restaurants are generally run on a the fast casual model: there's something that looks like a buffet, but you have to ask a member of staff to put items you see on your tray. Another common thing about soul food restaurants is that dishes and utensils are comprised entirely of single-use plastics. I ordered the "fish" with a side of macaroni and cheese (a lot of nutritional yeast in that) and mushroom salad. It was all pretty good, though Dodah doesn't have any way to make coffee. So I went around the corner and bought our preferred oatmilk drinks from Dunkin Donuts.
On the way out of town, Gretchen and I stopped at an Ethiopian grocery store to get two bags of injera and a large bag of coffee.
The drive back to Hurley was miserable, mostly due to various traffic slowdowns. Perhaps Veteran's Day Weekend Sunday is a bad day to be on the New Jersey Turnpike. Eventually we stopped for electricity at an Electrify America charging station at a Walmart supercenter near South River, New Jersey. We had a little trouble with the chargers there, but a nice young man with a Ford F-150 Lightning (the first I'd seen in the wild!) who used to work at Chevy helped us get a charger working (after Gretchen almost backed into his truck out of charger-related frustration).
Walmarts are really dropping the ball by not having something to cater to the high-end tastes of Electrify America customers. This was how we found ourselves in the Walmart Subway, sitting at a table while I drank a cup of their mediocre coffee (the only thing I could imagine buying there). Gretchen tried to discreetly eat injera with various things, but eventually the Indian woman running the Subway yelled at her for eating outside food.
We then walked around the Walmart, trying to amuse ourselves by looking at oversized underpants and then marveling at all the things in the arts & crafts aisle.
I drove us the rest of the way home, stuck occasionally in slow-moving traffic. We stopped at the Trader Joe's in Paramus for a single $200 cart of the stuff we like to get there (especially nuts and tart cherry juice). I also got bagels with some kind of fun vegan cream-cheese-like spread and a cold-brewed coffee for the road.
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